Corpus Christi_Thursday, 30th May 2024 (celebrated Sunday, 2nd June 2024)

Corpus Christi (The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ)

In this celebration we proclaim our belief in the Real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

We also proclaim that same Jesus lives within each one of us who are baptised into His Body, the Church.  In the Holy Eucharist we receive the Divine Host whom we carry in procession.  Through our Baptism He has taken up residence within each one of us.

We carry Him into the real world just as we carry the monstrance into its streets today.  When we process we proclaim that the Lord continues to come into the world, through us.  The celebration of this Solemnity goes back to the 13th Century.  Pope Urban IV instituted it in 1264 for the entire Church.  He wanted it to be filled with joy and accompanied by hymns and a festive procession.

He asked the great Western Church father, St Thomas Aquinas, to compose two Offices of prayerSt Thomas did so, alone with five hymns – and they have nourished the piety of Christians for centuries.

What does the Solemnity of Corpus Christi celebrate?

Also known as the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, this feast honors Jesus Christ, Really, Truly and Substantially Present under the appearances of bread and wine. This Presence happens through the change which the Church calls transubstantiation (“change of substance”), when at the Consecration of the Mass, the priest says the words which Christ Himself pronounced over bread and wine, “This is My Body,” “This is the chalice of My Blood,” “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

In 2024, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi is on May 30, but it is transferred to Sunday, June 2 in some dioceses.


The traditional date for Corpus Christi is the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, itself the Sunday after Pentecost. Thursday was chosen because it was the day on which the Last Supper was celebrated. Many ecclesiastical provinces (e.g. United States), however, celebrate it on the following Sunday, so that more people can attend. Where it occurs on Thursday, it is a Holy Day of Obligation, that is, Catholics must participate in the Mass.


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